There are a clear and defined top three picks in the 2022 NBA Draft. While there’s still plenty of discussion about which order they will go in, Gonzaga’s big man Chet Holmgren, Auburn’s Paul George-ian Jabari Smith Jr., and Duke’s big Paolo Banchero are almost certainly the first three off the board.
And the consensus next-best player is Purdue’s point guard Jaden Ivey.
And … the Detroit Pistons got the fifth pick in Tuesday night’s NBA lottery. Cue sad trombone.
So who will the Pistons grab at number five? It’s an open question.
Over at the Detroit Free Press, Omari Sankofa II cites Ivey, along with Keegan Murray (Iowa forward), Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky guard), Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona guard), and Jalen Duren (Memphis center).
Over at the Detroit News, Bob Wojomowski thinks the squad will be honing in on Ivey or Murray.
And The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor immediately put out a mock draft after the lottery, and has the Pistons getting Ivey with the fifth pick, noting the Pistons can basically grab the best player available to them, as “pretty much anyone could fit nicely” with last year’s No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham.
So while the Pistons might miss out on the big three, they might end up with the next-best thing. Cue happy cartoon music!
Betting markets thin
As for what the sportsbooks are looking at … well, it’s apparently too early for “who will be the No. 5 pick” markets.
But odds for the No. 1 pick have been up for months, and post-lottery, things switched up a bit.
Holmgren was the favorite, but with the Orlando Magic grabbing the pick, odds have moved in favor of Smith, who is now -125 at DraftKings to go number one, followed by Holmgren at +150 and Banchero at +450.
FanDuel is offering slightly less bettor-friendly odds on Smith at -130 and slightly higher odds on Holmgren at +155. But they have Banchero bounced all the way up to +600.
Caesars does Holmgren even dirtier, having him at +175 to go No. 1.
PointsBet is the best option for betting on Smith to go first, with his odds at -120.
And while the markets for everything else will slowly open up as we get closer to the June 23 draft, Pistons fans will have to wait and wonder — mostly if Ivey might, could, perhaps fall to No. 5. His over/under will certainly be one to watch.
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